Havant and Sarisbury seal premier wins

Sarisbury's Ryan Burl. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150533-7)
Sarisbury's Ryan Burl. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150533-7)
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Ben Walker turned in a starring role with the bat for Havant as they destroyed Alton by 159 runs in their Southern Electric premier division encounter.

The former Havant skipper fell just three runs short of a deserved century as he underpinned their innings of 240 for nine with his 140-ball stay.

Opening the innings on a tricky batting deck, his 97 included nine fours and saw him bat almost all the way down the line-up as the eighth wicket to fall.

By that time he had shared a 110-run stand with captain Stuart Ransley (29) and had given Havant more than enough to bowl at, especially as Alton were then shot out for just 80 inside 29 overs.

Jez Ord (four for 18) and Chris Morgan (three for 15) were the pick of the bunch as Havant made a swift recovery from last weekend’s surprise defeat to St Cross.

Player-coach Pete Hopson said: ‘Losing off the last ball to a six was pretty hard to take.

‘But our fielding and our bowling was a lot better this week.

‘We’re not the type of team to dwell on it too much.

‘We’re more likely to poke fun at each other about it.

‘I don’t think it was a case that they had a point to prove or anything like that.

‘I think it was just about making sure that we play well enough to win, even when we are not at our best.

‘It wasn’t our best cricket but maybe the pitch didn’t allow us to play our best cricket.

‘We did more than enough to win the game.

‘Ben played really, really well.

‘It was a very patient innings, the pitch wasn’t easy to play on and it moved around all day.

‘At times the ball came on and at times, it didn’t.

‘But he ran particularly well and got an awful lot of twos.

‘It was a good partnership between him and Stu so that gave us a foundation.

‘Then Jez Ord bowled fantastically well.

‘It was his type of pitch with a bit of nip.

‘If you got it in the right area, it offered you something off the seam and he would beat people.

‘Our spinners bowled really well because the pitch gripped.

‘But it was a good day all round as we got maximum points.’

Elsewhere in the premier division, Ryan Burl was the star man for Sarisbury Athletic as they capped their long-awaited top flight debut at Allotment Road with victory over Ventnor.

After the club’s issues with the outfield delayed their home bow this term, Burl blasted 79 with the bat and then grabbed three for 45 with the ball as Athletic earned a hard-fought 34-run success.

There was clearly very little wrong with the batting strip that yielded 540 runs and allowed the batsmen to play their shots.

Sarisbury built an imposing 287 for six with Ryan Covey (62) and Matt Journeaux (46 not out) also making useful contributions alongside Burl.

Ventnor’s Rob Snell and Sean Willis both hit half-centuries but Kieran Geyle (three for 22) ensured Sarisbury always looked in control of the game as the Islanders eventually closed on 253 for nine.